Is Duchess Kate actually buying multiples of the same boring dresses & shoes?

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Poland

It’s no secret that the Duchess of Cambridge loves to shop. It’s no secret that she will spend weeks planning out her bespoke outfits for a five-day tour. It’s no secret that she drops thousands of dollars on new clothes whenever she is forced to do a few hours of work. It’s no secret that Kate seemingly needs the lure of shopping sprees, new coats, new jewelry and new couture just to get through her few royal duties. It’s no secret that Kate overpays for clothes, and that she tends to buy dozens of coats, dresses and nude shoes that all look really similar. But here’s something new: the Daily Mail has theorized that Kate is actually buying multiples of the exact same boring looks. So, whenever she gets credit for “repeating” a look, she’s not really repeating anything, she might just have five of the same look.

She’s gained a reputation for being sensible when it comes to fashion, shopping from the high street and re-wearing designer pieces repeatedly on public engagements to get maximum value out of her wardrobe. But while the Duchess of Cambridge might appear to be the poster girl for recycling, it turns out that she might not be quite as thrifty as she seems.

On Kate’s recent visit to Belgium to commemorate the fallen of World War One, eagle-eyed royal watchers noted that her blush suede Rupert Sanderson pumps were impeccably spotless, despite the fact that she’s worn them dozens of times before. It seems that rather than recycling the same old pieces, the Duchess in fact has multiple pairs of the shoes she like – habit that also extends to her wardrobe.

Stylist Rochelle White told Femail: ‘Suede shoes are hard to maintain so if it’s easier to keep many pairs on standby, who wouldn’t? Kate likes to have a clean, sleek image at all times. Can you image if she stepped out on a royal engagement with scruffy shoes. She’s likely to have back up shoes – all the same style – in various quantities. Kate has a strong signature style and knows what she likes. It wouldn’t surprise me if she also gets a few of the same outfit made and has them ready to go, even if it is the same style.’

The prospect is all the more likely given Kate’s fondness for nude coloured shoes that will go with any outfit. The light colour of the material is easily stained, plus she’s generally on her feet during royal engagements, walking the streets to meet wellwishes or traversing the lawn at garden parties. So it would be impossible for her favourite blush, light grey and nude courts from Rupert Sanderson to emerge unscathed.

The Duchess also has a fondness for pastels and white when it comes to outfits, again a recipe for stains and grubby marks. And while she can certainly afford the dry cleaning bill, the trouble is that marks on delicate lighter fabrics can be very tricky to get rid of.

‘Light colours as we know are hard to keep looking fresh and like new,’ Rochelle said. ‘Attending events and receptions means she’s more likely to get pastel colours ruined by drinks, spills and knocks.

And let’s not forget that Kate is a mother to two lively young children, who are no doubt eager to grab her impeccable outfits as they hug her when she returns from official engagements. In Belgium last weekend, for instance, she wore a white Alexander McQueen coat dress previously seen at Trooping The Colour a year earlier. As the Duchess stood on the balcony Princess Charlotte stuck her first on her mouth before wiping it on her mother’s outfit.

‘I think when Kate finds an outfit that looks good, feels good and is comfortable she would like to have it to wear again without the worry of trying to get it clean and looking like new,’ Rochelle said. ‘It might be easier for her to have her favourites in duplicates, so that they are always looking fresh.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I actually sat here and spent too many minutes contemplating how one dry cleans when one is royal. I’m sure there are dry cleaning establishments which cater specifically to the upper-crust, but when one is royal, certainly there would be some kind of in-house dry cleaner? I mean, what does the Queen do with her clothes? Have them sent out? I would think not. So, if you have access to an in-house dry-cleaner, why would you need to spend the extra money on multiples of the same fakakta coatdresses? Now, all that being said, I’m not going to slam her for buying multiples of the same shoes, even if she’s buying multiples of the same boring nude pumps. When you’re not a shoe person and you find a pair you really like, I actually suggest this: buy multiples. I’m haunted by the multiples I did not buy of my old favorite pair of New Balance kicks (now discontinued).

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception at Cloth Hall during Passchendaele 100

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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50 Responses to “Is Duchess Kate actually buying multiples of the same boring dresses & shoes?”

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  1. HappyXamp says:

    Definitely agree on buying multiple’s on shoes. I have 5 pairs of the same black converse.

  2. Kakoo says:

    I love that pic of ol’ slouchy Kate looking pensive and purse-lipped. She looks like a painting of a young Mary Tudor.

    For the love of god STAND UP STRAIGHT.

    • minx says:

      Kakoo, thank you! One of my biggest complaints, too.

    • HoustonGrl says:

      I’m tall like Kate and I have a small scoliosis. No matter how “straight” I stand up, my body is simply not straight. Some people are built that way, and it makes them look like they are slouched over even when they’re not.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She is 5’5″ to 5’6″, not the 5’10″ the fandom pretends. Princess Eugenie is taller than she is and had surgery years ago for scoliosis. She has rods in her spine and solid posture.

        KM has always had access to the best medical care, so to me it is a reach that her posture is related to a medical condition. She doesn’t always stand that badly. KM chooses to stand with her pelvis forward most of the time, slouched shoulders, hands in front of her crotch. Plus wearing 5-6″ heels/platforms that mean she deliberately towers over people and crouches down to speak to them.

  3. Megan says:

    Such crappy fan fiction. I realize it’s summer, but they really need to make an effort at the Daily Fail.

    • Sharon Lea says:

      I’m with you. Its August, and Europe goes on vacation (I am the jealous American! ha)

  4. Larelyn says:

    Re: top photo. Oh, so THAT’S what peplum is supposed to look like? I can almost see why it would be considered stylish…
    …on tall, thin, modeling body types. It’s a shame the celebrities pushing that look (glaring right at you, Kim K) weren’t being honest with themselves when looking in the mirror.

    Meow. That is all.

    • INeedANap says:

      Peplums are supposed to provide the silhouette of traditionally womanly hips, and they only really work on slim hipped women like Kate. I myself have completely bypassed the trend.

    • TrixC says:

      Yes this style looks great on her. She has narrow hips and the peplum helps balance her out.

  5. Beth says:

    I don’t think she’s a bad dresser, but some of her clothes look like they were meant for an older lady. How many pairs of nude pumps does she need? If she tried wearing different shoes, maybe her style wouldn’t be so boring

    • seesittellsit says:

      @Beth – As a commoner, my guess is that Kate, especially in putative position as the next Princess of Wales and then Queen Consort of Britain, is sticking most of the time to what she believes are are dignified ensembles and ones that people recognize as quintessentially British in style. I’m guessing Kate, a common commoner, as opposed to an aristo commoner like Diana (anyone not royal is technically a commoner) , is anxious to master the “royal” look and the suits hats bags and shoes are what she views as conveying that message, and the result is a tad aging. She hasn’t quite reached an agreeable intersection between formal/dignified/very British/youthful.

      Kate may also be striving for a “timeless” style, something mastered by both the Queen and her late mother, that ignored fashion, but became indelibly and affectionately entwined with their identities over decades. Remains to be see if it works.

      • LAK says:

        Actually, anyone without a peerage title is a commoner, even royals. That means Michael, Anne, Alexandra, Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie are all commoners regardless of being princes.

      • Red Snapper says:

        Anne is the Princess Royal though. Isn’t that a thing? An official title thing?

      • LAK says:

        Red Snapper: yes, ‘Princes Royal’ is a title given to the eldest daughter of the monarch, but as grand a title as ‘Princess Royal’ is, it’s not a peerage title.

        HM, Philip, Charles, Andrew, *Edward ×2, William, Richard all hold ducal / Earldom peerage titles which means they are not commoners.

        *Edward Wessex and Edward Kent.

      • Lorelai says:

        SEE I think you nailed it! She’s trying to establish a “uniform” like the Queen, one that she believes will look timeless and be easily associated with her. Time will tell if this works, but if true, it explains a lot!

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      Individually the pieces are lovely – its the way they are put together that makes her outfits bland and boring. Her stylist can’t put an outfit together – either that or it’s Keen Katie who’s putting them together badly.

    • milla says:

      She does not dress for her body type. Many women would rock some of her outfits but she cannot. Her stylists are messing with her

      • Royalsparkle says:

        She is listening to carol. Carol wearing those clothes looks better than waity

        She is even more entitlef lazy useless than first saw.

  6. whatever says:

    I definitely think she is buying multiple pairs of the same shoes. Her shoes, especially the soles always look immaculate and brand new. This was theorise by the Daily Fail back when she was permanently attached to the nude court shoes from LK Bennett after her wedding.

  7. Giulia says:

    I love that pic of her and agree she looks like a painting, She’s so beautiful.

    • kaiko says:

      that’s certainly your opinion, and you are welcome to it. i think kate is a normal, girl next door attractive. she looks good when she tries and has a few faults–she’s a human being like all o us. HOWEVER–since she married wm… the press in the uk and us has gone completely APESHIZ NUTS shoving her and her new royal status down the public’s throat to the point that most people cannot stand the sight of her on a magazine cover.
      this chick was overexposed long before she ever got the ring.
      uk press has made a normal looking woman of average intelligence out to be some untouchable goddess, which anyone with a brain can see she’s not, no one is…she’s just a person who married a wealthy famous person. there is nothing special about kate other than the family which she finally was able to marry into.

  8. seesittellsit says:

    The likelihood is that Kate has a dedicated staff member (Diana did, as well), a “dresser”, who ensures that every outfit is whisked away after an airing and is thoroughly cleaned, pressed, and the shoes and bags and hats cleaned as well. Most of the active royals do. That’s probably one of the responsibilities of Charles’ and William’s and Harry’s valets. They don’t take care of their own clothes, someone else does, and I’d be quite surprised if the clothes weren’t taken care of in-house, not sent out to the neighborhood dry cleaners.

    It’s not exactly rare knowledge. The DM really is reaching here.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      She has a stylist – cleaning and upkeep of the clothes etc.. will be part of her responsibilities. Dresser is just the posh term for a stylist.

    • LAK says:

      Kate or her PR famously made a big deal of rejecting the services of a dresser. She took on a ‘stylist’ afew years after the wedding reluctantly which amounted to turning an office assistant into a ‘stylist’ as opposed to engaging a professional stylist.

      She employs an orderly and i suspect a lady’s maid, but no dresser.

      Btw, if she had a dresser, especially the kind used by royals, there would be fewer mishaps with her clothing and accessories. Ditto hair and makeup. Dressers have knowledge of every eventuality that might beset their lady in public, and apply it to enhance the lady’s presentation as well as minimise any potential mishaps due to external factors eg the weather or poorly made clothing.

  9. Adele Dazeem says:

    I’ll take this one level up and say I think she has the exact same silhouettes/patterns made in different colors. Like that Catherine Walker one she wore recently. And often it is in shades of blue.

  10. Alexandria says:

    I actually think her dressing is fine. Sure buy multiples but on your own dime. That’s the issue here. Anyway what else can I say, it’s what the royals are given, they will take and take since the public and Parliament have not threatened otherwise.

  11. MinnFinn says:

    I have long believed she buys multiples of the same wardrobe items for her 2 homes. For awhile I thought I could even tell which nudes pumps were stored at Anmer.

    Liz’s clothes are all hand laundered ie no dry cleaning ever. I read plausible details about her 10+(?) Staff dedicated to styling, dressing her and caring for her clothes. That piece said Liz has a complete replica outfit for every appearance to swap out any or all items if there were any issues or mishaps before or during an appearance.

  12. Jessica says:

    I think it’s interesting that people complain that Catherine should buy all of her own clothes out of her own money (first of all with what money, her parents are wealthy and she gets money from her father-in-law, she’s technically broke). When she’s doing an royal engagement, it’s a public appearance and should be apart of a larger budget for their work.

    Either get rid of the royals or not. You can’t have it both ways. I wouldn’t expect a royal family to constantly re wear clothes or wear department store clothing all the time. Isn’t that the whole point of royalty; they set a higher standard. I expect Catherine, as future Queen Consort, to wear high end clothing. Yes she may have multiples of a single outfit or a lot of outfits that look similar. That’s the nature of the game.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Her job does not require 200,000 in taxpayer-funded new clothes every year. She is supposed to be working royal, not a clotheshorse. Letizia had a low-cost working wardrobe for many years, and has only started with slightly higher end now that she is Queen Consort.

  13. MostlyMegan says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the suede heels are the worst? They are exactly the same shade, colour and texture as her pantyhosed legs. The effect is that she has no shoes on but rather long, pointy feet, like a geisha barbie. Why is she so afraid to appear to wear shoes that aren’t some shade of nude or beige? Ugh.

  14. Zondie says:

    Doesn’t Amner Hall have a boot room like in Downton Abbey? I imagine some servant is hating their life as they scrub the crayon stains off Kate’s nude wedges.

  15. spidey says:

    In the top photo I think dark red shoes to match the clutch bag would look great.

  16. CynicalAnn says:

    I love that you said fakakta.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I do too. Kaiser knows Yiddish! *wipes a tear* Proud of you.
      It is a dying language. I find myself saying to my kids when they are whining “Stop kvetching.”

  17. KiddVicious says:

    I can understand her buying two of the same dress for official travel. Anything can happen and it’s good to have a backup.

    I’ve been known to buy 2 of the same pair of shoes, especially summer sandals.

  18. Jumpingthesnark says:

    Thanks for the elaborations on the duties of a dresser, as opposed to a stylist, and how they are employed in the BRF. Kate needs one of each, good ones, not yes-people, who will have the gumption and backing to steer her away from her various fashion fail/bad optics impulses. I’m hoping the new private secretary insists on it.

  19. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I wonder about things like that too- who does the laundry?
    Like if you are on a tour, who does your laundry, your delicates? do they have multiples of their costumes (like madonna has so many changes) in case they can’t get cleaned for the next show?
    Who restocks toothpaste?

    I am a multi buyer. I ave zero sense of style, so I wear little shirts in solid colours, capris in the summer and khakis or jeans in the winter, with different colour cardigans. Never a pattern, always just a solid. One year I got crazy and bought a yellow cardigan! I love it.

    Boring boring boring.

  20. Hazel says:

    I don’t believe it. We’ve seen Kate in clothes & shoes & from her dating years & they look impeccable. I think Carol taught her daughters how to take care of their clothing. And we have seen her in scuffed shoes & boots. She’s just been shopping a lot lately. I think she’ll buy the same thing in multiple colors, but not the same color (e.g. the LK Bennet Sledge in nude & ivory; the Mulberry Bayswater clutch in black & maroon, etc.).

    • No Dignity in that says:

      I admit I have owned sued shoes. Light blue, actually ;-)
      I got exasperated with the maintenance. Just one word: DAILY. EVERY DAY.

      Not me. I simply coloured them black with black shoe polish. The result was a matte black show – easy maintenance. A blessing.

      • Hazel says:

        Yeah, the first pair of suede shoes I ever got came with a little brush for taking care of scuffs. That might well have been the last pair of suede shoes I ever got.

  21. No Dignity in that says:

    Does anybody notice that Kate’s facial proportions seem to change? And her cheekbones… she never had such big ones. I think I will call them “aristo tits”.

    • Nic919 says:

      Botox and fillers. She used to have jowls and then they disappeared and that would only be due to fillers or plastic surgery.

  22. notasugarhere says:

    “So, if you have access to an in-house dry-cleaner, why would you need to spend the extra money on multiples of the same fakakta coatdresses? ”

    Kaiser, you are a gem.

  23. notasugarhere says:

    Happy 29th Beatrice of York!

  24. magnoliarose says:

    I buy multiples for running, swimming and exercise, running shoes, casual clothes and if I can find jeans that are long enough but narrow and fashionable then I snap them up.
    It is practical for her but her clothes are very aging and boring. A 60 year old woman wouldn’t look too young in Kate’s clothes they would look much better on one. Her clothes wear her and don’t look natural or her. Her hair is the same.